8 Quick Tips for Better Time Management
Efficiency. I thrive on it. Really, I do and it sounds dumb. I have many tips I would pass along to be more efficient with your time management. Even as I type I am trying to implement one. I was working on another post that actually takes more mental energy than what I have so I decided to write on what I know. Efficiency, organization and time management. I know about these things. What I don’t know about is getting lost in something I love and being unaware of time. But getting help with that is for another time.
Because one of my goals in blogging is to be real, I must be honest with you right now. I am exhausted.(Can I still claim the new mommy exhaustion ten months in?) So I don’t have extra fluff to add. Today, I am listing what I know about time management. If you are already great at this, please stop reading now and make better use of your time. If efficiency and organization are something you struggle with, I hope this helps!
- Make a plan. Before going to bed, make two lists of tasks for the following day: one, urgent/time sensitive and two, non-pressing issues. The time sensitive issues should take priority while the non-pressing issues would be icing on the cake. It is nice to try to do the “optional” before they become “mandatory.”
- Begin with the end in mind. Whether you do this the night before or the morning of, think of what you would like/need to accomplish for the day and work backwards. Using your list, organize the order of your tasks.
- Grocery shop while you are already out, one time for the week. If you do not enjoy meal planning (I actually don’t at all), have a few meals that are easy, that you can purchase all the ingredients without recipes. This may also challenge you to use up what you have in your pantry and refrigerator. Another great option is let someone else plan your meals for you. We recently subscribed to eMeals. My life just got happier.
- Clean as you go. Keeping up with dishes, laundry, etc. throughout the day is actually less overwhelming than waiting until piles overtake the counter or floor. This requires a little discipline to make a habit but is well worth it.
- Do some things one time each day. This may sound contradictory to the previous point, but sometimes in an effort to keep up with certain things you may actually be decreasing your efficiency. For example, I am in a stage that I pick up toys-a lot. Once they are back in the bucket it does not take long for them to be scattered again. Instead, this is a task I do one time at night before my daughter goes to bed.
- Allow for margin. If by this point you are rolling your eyes because life does not go according to plan then hear me on this. We must create margin. Yes, unexpected events come up. Life happens. If our schedules are packed to the max then when plans change (and they will) you have no room to adjust and stress quickly follows.
- Learn to say yes. Notice I did not say, “Learn to say no.” It is a simple change in perspective but I think it is important. We always “feel bad” for saying no but in reality, saying no to one thing means saying yes to something else. Which areas do you want to say yes to more? Volunteering, exercising, spending more time with family? Knowing what you are saying yes to will give you the courage to remove unnecessary things from your life.
- Know your prime time. Some tasks take a lot of mental energy. It would be unwise for me to write or work at 10:00 at night. It’s not going to happen and I will be left frustrated. But 5:00 in the morning? I’m golden. That is when I am the most efficient, setting my pace for the day. Know your hour. Know your number, and use it to increase your efficiency.
Now go buy some Post-it Notes.